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After the death and destruction of a US invasion,
what now for women in Iraq?

Iraqi women are distraught after their home is bombed. This photo ran in Time magazine February 25, 1991.

"As the administration plotted to overthrow
Hussein's government, U.S. officials said this
week, it failed to fully appreciate the force of
Shiite aspirations and is now concerned that
those sentiments could coalesce into a
fundamentalist government..."
Glenn Kessler and Dana Priest,
"U.S. Planners Surprised
by Strength of Iraqi Shiites,"
Washington Post,
April 23, 2003.


"They're saying, 'Now we've got our freedom
we must make sure our women cover up.'
Peter Ford of the Christian Science Monitor,
reporting on a statement by Muslim clerics
at a gathering in Baghdad,
April 18, 2003 on National Public Radio's
'All Things Considered.'


"An art gallery owner I met, a woman with impeccable English, said that without
Mr. Hussein, factions within the Kurds and Shiites would be at each others throats,
and the fundamentalists would take over the government. She cited the
modernization of roads, the economy and education, and the progress made by
women under him. ... In 1995, Mr. Hussein held his first popular "referendum" and
"won" more than 99 percent of the vote. Everybody abroad dismissed it, but my sense
was that an honest poll would still have given him a victory--with 55 or 60 percent."
Ethan Bronner, "To imagine Iraq after Saddam,
you must think like an Iraqi"
New York Times, April 4, 2003, p. A18.


"As the U.S. administration was reportedly considering
a long-term military arrangement in the country, Senate
Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar
said the U.S. effort led by retired Gen. Jay Garner to begin
rebuilding post-war Iraq has "started very late" and gaps
were being filled by Shi'ite Muslims and others who seek
a theocratic state over a democracy."
Tabassum Zakaria, "Senator: New Iraq
Government Could Take Five Years"
April 20, 2003, Reuters.


"KUT, Iraq, April 18 --"...Mr. [Sayed] Abbas, 52, was the first to arrive at city
hall last week after Kut fell to the Americans. A Shiite Muslim preacher, he
immediately declared himself the elected mayor of the city, though no election
seems to have taken place. He has taken up residence amid the chandeliers,
marble and mahogany of city hall and is surrounded by legions of zealous
supporters, an exclusively male population that grows larger by the day.
Mr. Abbas is a local leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution
in Iraq, a political party that was outlawed under Saddam Hussein"
Charlie Duff, "A Cleric Assumes a Bully Pulpit," New York Times,
April 19, 2003.


"The fundamentalist groups use revolutionary slogans against the West
but they have economic connections and interests in the West...
they use many national liberation slogans, but they divide national unity
by religion, sex, and creed."
Nawal el Sadaawi,"Islamic Fundamentalism and Women,"
in North/South: The Nawal el Saadawi Reader Zed, London: 1997.